My top twelve Christmas songs - song names are linked to YouTube vids, while artist names take you to Wikipedia for ease of extra trivia gathering...
The cheesiest song on the list! It originally lost out to Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the race to Christmas #1 in 1984, but has re-entered the charts numerous times since. Apparently it is the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach number one.
This #3 hit song for Tears for Fears (1982) was covered by Gary Jules for the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Jules' version hit #1 in time for Christmas 2003. It's very depressing, but it just taps into the sense of anticlimax that so often pervades Christmas.
The Snowman, a 1982 TV adaptation of Raymond Briggs' picture book, is a mainstay of any UK Christmas - I watch it every year, at any rate. Peter Auty sang the song in the film, a cover of which was a 1985 #5 hit for Aled Jones.
Featuring Kirsty MacColl, this song was kept off the top spot in 1987 by the Pet Shop Boys' version of Always On My Mind. Since then it has become a Christmas classic and was certified platinum in the UK in 2013.
Still not particularly festive, but I love this song. It reached #3 in December 1980, and went to #2 in Australia. The 1981 cover by the Gwalia Singers is supposedly very popular in the States - it just sounds way too cheery to my ears!
The Christmas #1 for 1994, this is such a lovely song - especially considering that East 17 were meant to be the 'bad boys' of the boy band genre, and it's about the suicide of the brother of one of the band members...
On its release in 1973 it peaked at just #24 on the UK chart. These days it's a must for any Christmas party.
The song peaked at #6 on its release in 1979... but it has made Sir Paul around £10 million in the years since, so he probably doesn't dwell on it too much. This one always puts me in a festive mood.
My favourite Christmas carol (though We Three Kings comes a close second), just check out this traditional choral version. Nothing says Christmas like a slightly sinister sounding tale of joy.
Based on a Ukrainian folk song, the English lyrics were developed by Peter Wilhousky in 1936. It sounds really timeless though. Two of my favourite versions are by Pentatonix and John Williams.
This song only peaked at #4 in the UK charts way back in 1973, which seems hard to believe now that its such a staple of the season!
Just as Slade beat Wizzard to the 1973 Christmas #1, so they've pipped them to the post in my personal countdown. It went silver on pre-orders alone, then gold in its first week of release. Even if the glam rock look has aged terribly, the song is still an absolute gem!
What's your favourite Christmas song? :)